Monday, November 8, 2010

LEAVES!!!!

by Jeanne Adams

Do you love Fall leaves? They're all down now in my part of the country, for the most part. I've been raking and bagging them up today, and dragging the bags to the curb for pickup.

Before you frown at me for this deviation from good writing time and ask, I DO have a leaf blower. Actually, we own two blowers with varying degrees of power. (As Tawny says, there's a joke in there somewhere...) Most years, I don't use them until very late in the season. And only then if I've left it until really late and don't have time to rake.

Why not blow, you ask? Because I LIKE raking. It's contemplative and peaceful, unlike the roar and whine of blower technology. Just the leaves, the iTunes, the rake and the paper bags for the yard trim collection....yeah. I like it.

Susan Sey was admitting that she has a leaf blower too. And a snow blower, but that's a necessity for the Sey household, like it is for KJ. Those two live a bit far to the North to be doing without power tools come Winter. Susan admitted though, that like me, she dislikes the noisy, irritation that is a leaf blower. Caren has one too, but in the sunny Carolinas, it's more about corraling the pine straw mulch back into the flowerbeds, rather than leaf blowing. Lottttsssss of pine trees in NC.

I don't like blowers in Spring and Summer either, by the way - a real spoiler to a quiet morning, for the most part. Now, it's nearly Spring Down Under in Australia where two of our Banditas live, along with a whole passle of Bandita Buddies and Guests. Grins. Anna tells me that the harbinger of spring in Oz, the wattle, will be blooming. (See the picture on the above right? That's it. BTW, who thought up THAT name for such a lovely shrub??)

Anna said it blooms this glorious yellow/gold and that it smells of honey. What on earth could be more divine?
At this season in the States, divinity is the smell of fall leaves. I love the crisp crunch and the oakey, loamy smell of them as they fall and lie on the damp earth.

Then you have the colors - every hue from brown to red to gold to greenish yellow. I love the colors! So vivid! Anna's yellow wattle looks like the color the ginko leaves turn in fall. What a glorious color!

Now Bandita Joanie says she'll blow out a breath of exasperation that winter's on the horizon, but lets someone else do the raking and blowing in her yard. (Again, that sounds vaguely naughty, in a Regency sort of way...)

Trish said the maple is her favorite tree for fall, with it's orange-y russet hues. According to her email, she doesn't blow either. Snork. Cassondra, Caren, Suz, and Susan are fond of the sugar maples as well, with their yellow to orange to scarlet splendor. Nothing like a maple tree for showy color, is there?

It's that same Maple Red for our own KJ Howe, to match the bright red snowblower she keeps at the ready for when the white, wonderful snow starts to fall, which it does much earlier in Canada than in the US.

Maybe I should move to Canada....whaddya think, KJ? Our friend Loreth White has already HAD a snow fall up in western Canada. How lovely.

For those of you who've followed the blog for a while, you know how much I love snow too. Snow blowers may be necessary in our Northern Bandita's climes, but I'll shovel it, here in DC, any time the weather gods deem us worthy of a good blizzard. (Like last year. WHEEEE!) Do you know that two of our Southernmost Banditas admitted they don't even OWN a shovel? Sacrilige!! **Caren***Cough***Suz***Cough***

Ahem.

But back to my post. My favorite leaf colors are the reddy-oranges as well, and the brown-y, golden-y beech trees, like in the picture above on the right. I adore Burning Bush with it's brilliant scarlet leaves too (like the one on the left), and I'm always sorry when the "fireworks of Fall" are over and done with for another season.

The good thing is that although most of the leaves are off the trees right now, they're still around, coloring up and decorating the ground. Since raking's much slower than blowing - again with the sly innuendo! - I'll get to enjoy it just a bit longer because there's still the backyard to rake over the next few days....

(BTW, I'm glad I'm not raking where Bandita Kate is, however. She said it was nearly 87 degrees in California! Yikes! It's in the 50's in DC, so I'm lovin' that!)

What's your favorite color for Fall? Do you have a favorite tree?

If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, in Aus, or NZ, how is Spring coming on? What's blooming
bright and beautiful to welcome the season?

Do you Rake? Or Blow? (SNORK!)

And what about those snow blowers? Do you own one? Are you looking forward to Winter? I am!! (But you knew that, didn't you?)


111 comments:

Daz said...

Happy Monday everyone!!!

Daz said...

Well, living in Sydney there is no need for a snow blower. Raking only occurs if there are leaves that fall and since many of us have gum trees, that doesn't happen that often either. At least not for me, though I go occasionally get pelted by the odd branch that decides to fall or the peeling bark from the gum trees. My favorite time is actually Spring where trees are concerned because of the Golden Wattle but more specifically also the Jacaranda tree. For those of you in Oz, you know what I mean. Is there anything more glorious than seeing a park full of Jacaranda in bloom?

Daz said...

Some pictures of the Jacaranda tree.

http://tinyurl.com/2vkw75k

Cassondra said...

I don't blow.

Just sayin...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Happy Monday, Daz! Aren't those the most lovely purple blossoms on the jacarandas!? Thanks for sharing the link.

How funny that you don't have to rake leaves at all. :> Kinda like Caren with her pine needles, I guess. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra, I'm snorkin'!

No blow for you.

Okay, now THAT sounds druggie. Hahahah!

I can see this will be a day for me to be snorking in my diet coke.

Cath's Chatter said...

I'm a sucker for the mighty oak....I just LOVE them.
But here in NZ I really love when the Pouhutakawa is in full bloom.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I'm off to bed, ladies and gents. :> Talk to you (later) in the morning! :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Cath's Chatter, I went and looked up the pohutukawa tree. That's absolutely GORGEOUS! :>

And I love the oaks too. They're the last to lose their leaves, and some of them don't end up falling until the new growth starts coming in spring. We've got a bumper crop of acorns this year, so I'm thinking we'll get some snow again this winter. :>

Helen said...

Well done Daz back to Oz he comes

Jeanne

I so love autumn and winter but spring is blooming here in Oz my Crepe Myrtle tree is full of buds and soon there will be masses of pink flowers covering it and the bottle brush trees are flowering as well I have a red one and a pink one in bloom at the moment and I have a big climbing rose bush in the back yard that is covered in tiny pink flowers and the smell is lovley. I totally agree Daz I do love a jacaranda tree although my yard is just too small for one we had one when I was growing up and the path was so purple when the flowers dropped LOL.

But for me no blowers leaf of snow and yes the wattle tree is lovely but can cause lots of allergies for people here in Oz.

Have Fun
Helen

Tawny said...

I love the colors of fall- the rich mulberry and deep orange and gorgeous golds. Its one of my favorite color palates. My Japanese Maples are changing color and dropping leaves, now and I just sigh at the pretty contrast of those against the backdrop of redwoods in my backyard :-)

As for blowers... I have to say we're blow-free here *G*

Daz said...

Helen, I'm not so sure if it's a good idea for the GR to be in Sydney right now. The weather is shocking!!!

Minna said...

I didn't have to rake very much this year -hardly at all- since the birch trees that were so close to the house were cut down last winter.

Anna Campbell said...

Deanna, congrats on the chook! Be nice to him until he LEAVES!!! Ho ho, I do so amuse myself! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, what a gorgeous post. I've long wanted to go to New England to see the leaves change colour in your autumn. Although I've heard those backroads can turn into real traffic jams at the height of the season with all the people gawking at the colour. The only time I've really seen the leaves change was in Scotland in October but the weather turned really nasty then so it sort of went two days of autumn and then straight into the coldest winter for 100 years (I kid you not!).

Glad you love my wattle picture!

Sheree said...

My neighbor has a Japanese maple which is dropping leaves like crazy. I leave the leaf-blowing to the landscaping guys. Still, around here, there's no snow so it's only leaves that get blown. Most of the tree here are not nearly as colorful - California Bays and Coastal Live Oaks.

Helen said...

I agree Daz the storms this afternoon were awful the thunder was so loud out here it shook the house and they are just starting again so be warned if they make their way back into the city

Have Fun
Helen

Jane said...

Hi Jeanne,
I love the fall foliage. I particularly like the orange and yellow leaves. I don't rake or use a leafblower because I live in an apartment and don't have to worry about those things. Maple tress are my favorite.

Congrats on the GR, Daz.

Christine Wells said...

Jeanne, lovely post! I was in Japan when all the fall leaves were out in force a couple of years back and it was truly breathtaking! Love the gingko trees and maples, etc. At all the shrines, they have people who rake the leaves to keep the shrines tidy and they do it with these very primitive-looking whisk rakes, too. Must be good for the soul, as you say!

Oh, and another beautiful spring colour in Oz is the gorgeous deep purple of the Jacaranda (not a native but very prevalent where I live, anyway!) It's said that exam time is here when the Jacarandas are in bloom. If a blossom lands on your head, you'll get an A.

Christie Kelley said...

We don't own a blower, even though I keep telling my husband that with all of us allergic to the trees it would be a good idea. We rake the leaves out of the mulch and then let the mower chomp them up. My neighbor has a compost pile we toss the leaves into.

As far as snow blowers, normally we don't get enough snow to make it worth having one. As Jeanne said, last year was the exception. We don't normally get 3 blizzards in one year. Many years we don't get more than 4-6 inches at one time. I never mind shoveling and in fact, I enjoy it.

And while I love fall, I am looking forward to winter. I just hope we get some snow again this year. Maybe not 60 inches like last year but a couple of nice 6 inches snowfalls would be wonderful.

Anna Sugden said...

I love the colour palette of autumn - the gorgeous reds eg of the Virginia Creeper, the rich oranges eg of the cherries and the golden. Plus all the lovely bushes that are full of brightly coloured berries.

No, we don't do blowers over here. Apparently we suck ;) We have devices like a vacuum cleaner which suck the leaves and pulverise them too. We tend to be rakers - but then, lovely hubby has a push mower, so you can see why.

I love the seasons so I look forward to winter and snow and crisp, bright days- I just can't stand the horrid wind and rain and greyness we often have - like today!

Susan Sey said...

We just inherited our first snow blower, which will be nice come that first ridiculously snowy morning. But it'll take all the peace & quiet out of that early half hour of shoveling for me.

I'll let my husband do it. He likes gadgets. :-)

gamistress66 said...

I love the mix of reds, golds & orange rather than any one autumn burst.

I'm also outside DC but my neighborhood still has plenty of leaves. I generally don't bother raking, with so many trees around here it would be endless what with the next wind would either bringing down some more or shifting one yard's leaves to others. I look at it as free and naturaly insollation & ferterlizer for the yard. ;)

I don't own a snow blower, but last Feb was really happy a neighbor had just gotten one. I generally don't mind shovelling but there are limits and having to toss the snow over piles as tall as me is about when it becomes not fun at all. The part I hate most is having to shovel the street from the end of my drive to where the plow went down the middle (or actually off middle to the other side) of the street. That part I never enjoy. Hopefully not big snow this winter.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Morning, Helen! I adore crepe myrtles. We have them here and where I'm from in NC, they line the highways with them for color in the heat of summer. :> Here, they're the only thing that blooms in that late, hot summer, and they are gorgeous, aren't they?

Had to go look up bottle brush trees, but they're lovely too! And no one and nuthin competes with roses.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Tawny said: As for blowers... I have to say we're blow-free here *G*

*tongue firmly in cheek* Why Tawny, that's a shame.... Snork!

I love the Japanese maples too, btw. They're so delicate and lacy and then fiery red-gold when they turn. Just scrumptious.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I don't blow either. I rake, and I wait until they are done. Looking at them on the trees is great, they are beautiful, not so much when they hit the ground. I don't have a tree in my yard front or back but I got all the neighbors leaves! When it is all over and the trees are bare I whine until my son goes out with me to get them up and bagged. I rake, he bags.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh, I like the gold and orange ones when they are on the trees, maple is what I am surrounded by. I used to have a fire bush and it was beautiful when it turned birght red. Startling, but beautiful.

Claudia Dain said...

Favorite tree: Japanese Maple, all types, though the weeping form is my least favorite.

And I like the sound of a blower! I'm going to do a blog in praise of the leaf blower very soon! The poor blower needs some good press.:) One year we gave the kids a backpack leaf blower as a gift---they were so excited! How much easier than raking, raking, raking our very large, large forested lot.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Daz, how is the weather shocking? Inquiring minds want to know!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Awww, Minna, I'm so sorry your Aspens had to be cut down. Major bummer.

Will you plant some more?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: Be nice to him until he LEAVES!!! Ho ho, I do so amuse myself! ;-)

*exaggerated sigh* Seriously? OMGosh. You crack me up. Have to confess I LOL.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: I've long wanted to go to New England to see the leaves change colour in your autumn. Although I've heard those backroads can turn into real traffic jams at the height of the season with all the people gawking at the colour.

We call them leaf-peepers, or (apologies to anyone from Florida) Floridiots. This happens in the mountains of NC too, Anna, where people wind their way up the scenic road in the Blue Ridge at about 10 miles per hour, gawking at the moutainsides. Not that I blame them, the roll of hills, looking like it's on fire with color, is a sight to lift your soul.

However, the sheer number of fender bumps, and the sheer volume of people? Astounding.

And yes, I dearly DO love your wattle picture. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW, Anna, had to wince about the Scottish Fall. Brrrrr. I've heard they usually have a lovely fall season which, though not as long as ours, is often accompanied by a lot of driving-leaf-peepers from somewhere South of Caledonia.

grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Sheree! You said: I leave the leaf-blowing to the landscaping guys.

Sigh. So many do. :> Then again, there aren't many people that jus lurrrrve to rake, the way I do. And yes, I know, it's a sort of crazy sickness, kind of like enjoying synopsis-writing. (Which I also do.)

Do the Coastal live oaks change color, or just drop all those thin narrow leaves all over the place? Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Helen said: I agree Daz the storms this afternoon were awful the thunder was so loud out here it shook the house

Oooh, storms! That's what she meant. Those can sure be wicked, can't they?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Jane! Do you have a lot of street trees where you can still see all the color from your apartment, or is there a park nearby? A friend of mine lives near a park and she says the landscape guys adn gals there start work at some unholy hour of the morning.

Considering she's usally an early riser, unholy is probably 6 am. Anything before 7:45 is pretty much an "unholy hour of the morning" to me.

Ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Jeanne!

I do NOT have a blower, although I've been known to....

But I digress.

When I lived in Ohio, I loved raking leaves, too. We had this HUGE oak tree in our front yard and every fall I'd rake this ginormous pile of leaves in which the kids would proceed to dive into, roll around in, play hide and seek with for hours. Eventually, it has to be bagged and out to the curb, but what fun they had before then.

Now, I have a cottonwood in my front yard and my yard guys DO have a blower and use it to keep the yard semi-leaf free. (This thing sheds for weeks!)

As to shovels? Uh, sweetie, we get maybe 3 days of snow or ice down here. Never consecutively. And by mid afternoon the next day it has completely melted. We don't NEED no stinking shovels! hehehe

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Morning Christine! Or should I say, good afternoon? Grins. You said: It's said that exam time is here when the Jacarandas are in bloom. If a blossom lands on your head, you'll get an A.

How cool is that? Now, however, I'm going to have to go look up Jacarandas again and see from whence they originated. There are some here in the States - but they're not FROM here, either. Hmmm. Southeast Asia, maybe?

Love the mental image of the Japanese shrines with their golden ginko leaves being tidily swept with little rakes. Penance, or meditation? Hmmmm...

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Anna S:
No, we don't do blowers over here. Apparently we suck ;)


OMG...am NOT touching that with a 10-foot pole! hehehe

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Christie said: And while I love fall, I am looking forward to winter. I just hope we get some snow again this year. Maybe not 60 inches like last year but a couple of nice 6 inches snowfalls would be wonderful.

Awww, c'mon, Christie! Where's your adventurous spirit? They only closed schools for 10 days and screwed up the entire state budget. Snork.

I'm looking forward to some snow this year too. The wooly worms and the farmers almanac say we'll get some too, so I'm a happy camper. Grins.

I'm so pleased that you compost your leaves. If I had just a weeee bit more space in the yard, I would too, but since our county does it and you can go get the compost for free....yeah, I leaf bag.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna S, are you trying to tell me that the UK sucks? SNORK!!! Sorry, but you said, No, we don't do blowers over here. Apparently we suck ;)

Heeheeehee.

Seriously, I've seen those devices. We have them over here too. They're a bit quieter than the blowers, but not by much. Their one advantage that I see, is that pulverizeing bit. Makes it easier to compost things.

Oooh, the Virginia creeper IS lovely when it turns, isn't it? Just stunning with that red. And the winterberries and beautyberries which hold their berries until later in the winter. Lovely.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Susan said: We just inherited our first snow blower, which will be nice come that first ridiculously snowy morning. But it'll take all the peace & quiet out of that early half hour of shoveling for me.

Yep, it's that contemplation time that I like. Exercise with a purpose, as opposed to going to the gym, and the quiet contemplation of a good leaf pile or snow drift. :>

My hubby doesn't do gadgets - won't even wear a watch - but he will shovel, so, I'm good here. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Gamistress! You said: I look at it as free and naturaly insollation & ferterlizer for the yard. ;)

Heehee. Yes, it is. I do leave some of the fallen leaves on my flowerbeds through winter for just that reason, but we have SO many trees that it kills every blade of grass if I let them lie for too long. :> It's just more expensive to plant grass every year than it is to rake or blow. Ha!

I know what you mean about shoveling over your head. That was some serious exercise last winter, wasn't it??

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Morning, Dianna! You said: I don't have a tree in my yard front or back but I got all the neighbors leaves! When it is all over and the trees are bare I whine until my son goes out with me to get them up and bagged. I rake, he bags.

This is the fun of having kids, isn't it? At some point you actually get THEM to do some work. Heehee.

I know what you mean about the neighbors trees. Of course, in my neighborhood we all have lots of big trees, which is lovely, but it means that even if you rake your yard pristine, within 48 hours, you'll have some leaves back in it from the neighbors trees. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey, it's TICD! Great to see you this morning, Claudia! :>

You said: though the weeping form is my least favorite.

Really? Most love it. I'm okay with it, but am more partial to the mid-sized varietals, the ones that grow about 15-20 feet high. They come in every leaf color from spring green to a deep maroon and they just make me smile. The weepers are okay, but much mor fragile.

That snow Gamistress and Christie and I experienced whacked a LOT of the ornamental weeping maples around here. They couldn't take the snow weight and SNAP! It was sad. Most have come back pretty well, but they look a bit mutant at this point, having been pruned so hard by Mother Nature. Grins.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, I love the crisp air of autumn. Also the fact that cold weather kills that summer nuisance, the mosquito!

I don't have a favorite tree. My favorite fall color, though, is orange-red. Not sure which tree does that.

We don't rake or blow the leaves. The dh mows them into tiny pieces and then lets them blow away or become mulch. I miss raking them, jumping in the piles, and eventually burning them, as we did when I was growing up.

Now we have outdoor burning laws that restrict such rituals.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

And TICD, I want to read the Ode to a Leaf Blower.

Grins.

"It was an Autumn Day, and I fired up the gas leaf blower....VROOOOOM!"

Nancy said...

Daz, congrats on the bird. I love that wattle tree Anna C. sent to Jeanne for the post. What a beautiful yellow!

Nancy said...

Forgot to say my dad planted a sugar maple because he liked the dark red color the leaves turn.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: I do NOT have a blower, although I've been known to....

But I digress.


Heeheeheehee. Yep. Haven't we all....

Snork

Nancy said...

Susan, we don't have a snow blower. We seldom have enough snow to care. The dh does have a big shovel, though, left from his days as a New England and Midwest resident. I think he's used it maybe half a dozen times in the twenty-plus years we've been married.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: We had this HUGE oak tree in our front yard and every fall I'd rake this ginormous pile of leaves in which the kids would proceed to dive into, roll around in, play hide and seek with for hours.

Ooh, what a lovely memory! We do this too, although only in the front yard. Grins. Big dogs, back yard, there's only so much you can watch where they "go" so...yeah, just the leaves in the front yard get raked and leapt into.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: I love the crisp air of autumn. Also the fact that cold weather kills that summer nuisance, the mosquito!

Ahhh, yes! One of the other most-marvelous things about fall and winter. NO BUGS! Yippeee! :>

And you know, we used to burn the leaves too, but that ban stems from drought, I guess. Or global warming. Snork.

Nancy said...

Helen, I want a crepe myrtle for the yard, maybe a white one. If we don't plant it soon, though, we'll have to wait until next year. We'll get a hard frost before long.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

For the insatiably curious - *raises hand* like me - you'll be pleased to know that the Jacaranda, gorgeous purple thing that it is, originates in SOUTH America, central America and the Caribbean. Wiki says it's now been introduced to Aus, NZ, India, Fiji and part of africa.

Evidently at one point it became a tradition to give new mothers a jacaranda seedling. Weird.

THey're not invasive, though, so bloom on, Jacaranda, bloom on!

(In another writerly tidbit, Brazilian Jacaranda is used for acoustic guitars. Innnnnteresting!)

Terry Odell said...

Where we live now, there are 3 basic trees: Ponderosa pines, Douglas firs, and aspens. The first two don't drop leaves, of course. The aspens do (and very quickly at this altitude). But our property is in the mountains, and the deer seem to love munching the fallen leaves. Problem solved.

Terry
Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Terry! Great to "see" you here today! I love seeing the Aspens when they turn. Wow are they gorgeous. Pretty cool too that the deer "clean up" for you.

I like it! Wildlife as leaf-blowers.

Snork.

Minna said...

Jeanne, we cut down our birch trees, we didn't have any aspens growing here. And we definitely won't plant more trees -birch, aspen or any other kind- around the house to replace the trees that were cut down. We are living in the middle of a birch, pine and spruce forest such as it is. But at least I don't have to rake so much anymore because there are no more trees right next to the house.

Loreth said...

Hah, great post Jeanne. We woke up to snow again this morn. I don't blow :) ...too much environmental noise pour moi. Kinda makes gardening ungreen, don't you think? Plus the shoveling and raking is an excuse not to go to the gym :)

Cybercliper said...

Here in south Texas, we have no need for snow blowers (thank you Lord) and as for leaves, our property is covered in giant oaks but my hubs is an organic kinda guy so he just shreds them with the mower to help break them down into little pieces so they will mulch the ground and the grass. He says the ground must have its natural food to sustain life.

Down here we have an evergreen bush that can get really huge over time - yaupon holly. In the fall nestled amount its forest green leaves, it has the most glorious berries that are either bright red or my favorite, beautiful bright burnt orange. They stay that way all fall and winter, dropping off in the spring. And since they grow everywhere down here, there's always a spot of color, even on the darkest of winter days.

MsHellion said...

Actually I'm a "leaver"--I don't rake or blow. I let them compost in the yard. The trees were here first.

But I can see how raking by hand could be a peaceful pastime.

Deb said...

I think fall is a very pretty time of year with all the golds, oranges, russets, and reds of trees and shrubs.

I just put on my FB status on Saturday how I wish we had a leaf blower. :) My husband mowed some to mulch them, but then he raked the rest into a huge pile.

I have a small snow blower that my uncle gave to me, but it's very cheaply made and am not sure how it will work, especially if we have snow like we have had the last 2 winters. I have a very, very nice neighbor who has a large snow blower and he is very good about clearing off and out my driveway. (My DH isn't supposed to shovel snow since his heart attack.)

My fave color in fall is the golden fields of soybeans and corn as the fields change to those colors close to harvest time.

Nancy said...

Cybercliper, we have a gigantic holly tree in our back yard. It was already huge when the dh bought our house, and we've just let it keep growing. It's beautiful in the winter, especially when there's frost on the leaves.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oops, sorry, Mina! I had Aspens on the brain. Grins. Birches. they also shed those silly seed pods in spring which are rather annoying. :>

But no raking...sigh...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Loreth! Grins. Snow. Yippeee!

You said: Plus the shoveling and raking is an excuse not to go to the gym :)

EXACTLY! See, people, she gets it! I hate the gym, so if I can rake or shovel and feel all self-satisfied and exercised, then I don't have to go for a run. Or work on the machines or whtever. Heehee.

(I don't like the noise either!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Cyberclipper! :> You said: hubs is an organic kinda guy so he just shreds them with the mower to help break them down into little pieces so they will mulch the ground and the grass. He says the ground must have its natural food to sustain life

Grins. And he would be correct. And industrious. I'm thinking I need to look into one of those mulching, leaf chomping mowers.

Cool too about the Yaupon holly. Went and looked it up - beautiful! And they get HUGE!

Danielle Gorman said...

Well living in Central Florida we don't really get to enjoy fall. We actually don't get experience it at all. Our trees go from being green to dead. I always loved going up north during the fall months so I could see the leafs actually changing color. It was so amazing to me when I was younger.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Hellion! :> It is a peaceful pasttime and contemplative. And when I'm done with that part of it, I'll whip out the blower and get the rest off my poor grass. Did I mention that we have a LOT of trees?

Today, it's infernally windy and any raking I did yesterday is now undone. The good news is, about half my leaves are now piled against the fence. Easy to rake and bag. ha!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Deb! Oooh, no, your hubby should NOT be shoveling if the's had heart issues. Nor even pushing the snow blower.

He can man the leaf blower like a champ though, so you could get one. Grins. They go on sale like clockwork here in November. :>

YOu said: My fave color in fall is the golden fields of soybeans and corn as the fields change to those colors close to harvest time.


I know what you mean about corn and that is a lovely color. I've not seen soybeans in the fall though. Have to go look that up. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Danielle! :> You said: I always loved going up north during the fall months so I could see the leafs actually changing color. It was so amazing to me when I was younger.

They are cool, aren't they? And Central Florida has its own charms, right?

Warmth in January, for one....

Janga said...

I don't think I've heard a leaf blower since we moved to the country two years ago. They were a constant irritant during this season on campus and in our in-town community. My nephews rake the front yard and mow the back. The grands love jumping in piles of leaves, and I love watching them and enjoying the music of their shouts and giggles. I love all the colors of fall. The golden glory of the tulip poplar is my favorite. It's a lovely tree in any season. If we get any snow at all, it is usually just enough to sprinkle the trees and lawn like a heavy dusting of powdered sugar. If we get enough for an emaciated snowperson, the kids are jubilant--and the grocery stores are euphoric since just the possibility of snow somehow sends most Georgians rushing to stock up as if we were in the path of a blizzard.

Claudia Dain said...

I know. I'm always odd man out. *G*

I like the weeping forms the least because they're so fragile (die more easily than upright forms) and so slow to grow. Japanese Maples are already slow, but the weeping forms...I've had one for 10 years that is still about 3 feet tall. Oh, yeah, it's wider, but still less than 3 feet wide. Grow! Come on!!

Claudia Dain said...

Ask, and you're gonna get exactly what you asked for! Even now, I am composing Ode to A Leaf Blower. Or maybe: A Leaf Blower's Tale of Discrimination. Or how about: The Least Appreciated Modern Invention, After The Toilet Paper Spindle.

Joan said...

Suz said: We don't NEED no stinking shovels! hehehe

Famous. Last. Words.

Giving St. Bernard snow drift rescue dog your address now!

And I will make chocolate chip cookies for ANY of ya'll with snow showels/blowers or teenagers with same!

Anna Campbell said...

Deanna, 100% agree with you about jacarandas. I think they're my favorite trees. That purple is amazing, isn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

Cath, I had a pohutakawa tree - they grow pretty well up here. Well, apart from at my place. Sadly, rip PT! You're right about them being beautiful!

Nancy said...

Danielle, you sound like my dh. He says one reason he likes living in the South because of the distinct seasons. He grew up in the Colorado Front Range and went to college in New Hampshire, with Fall a very short season in both.

Nancy said...

Janga, we don't get much snow in the Carolina Piedmont, either. Haven't had more than the light dusting you describe in several years. It's pretty on the trees, and then it goes away. There are some advantages to that.

jo robertson said...

What a great post, Jeanne! I didn't have a chance to tell you beforehand that my favorite leaf is the gorgeous deep purple-ish color of our plum tree right outside my dining area window. I love the deep, rich colors of fall and we're having an especially long one this year with the leaves still falling.

What I love most is our two giant pine trees, always green and christmasy looking in the back yard.

No snow blowers for the obvious reason that we have no snow here in northern California -- well hardly ever!

Joan said...

Check...adding Jo's name to the St. Bernard's list....

Cassondra said...

The Incomparable Claudia Dain said:

Or how about: The Least Appreciated Modern Invention, After The Toilet Paper Spindle.

Ooooo Claudia...I love that idea... I happen to fully and openly appreciate toilet paper spindles--right along with the toilet paper itself. I have said, many times, that the thing I'd miss most if the zombipocalypse were ever to actually happen, would be toilet paper.

However, I would prefer there be some method by which toilet paper could be put on the spindle ONLY the correct way.

You know..so you don't have to reach under the roll to get the paper. The loose sheet is right there on the outside--and on top...The way God meant it to be.

Okay I better shut up and get back to leaves....which have been used as toilet paper by moi on numerous occasions....ahem....

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Janga! Sorry not to reply sooner, it's very windy here and I got bumped off the Internet over and over again. Harrrumph!

You said: just the possibility of snow somehow sends most Georgians rushing to stock up as if we were in the path of a blizzard.

Hahah, I know! Isn't that just the most amazing phenomenon? Of course, last winter, anytime they said snow for DC we WERE in the path of a blizzard. Ha! I often wonder how much of the milk and bread go bad after the "overbuy" - thankfully toilet paper has no expiry date. Snork.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

TICD said: Or how about: The Least Appreciated Modern Invention, After The Toilet Paper Spindle.

HAHAHAH!!! So true, m'dear, so true. Then again, until there's a disaster or something of that nature, like...you know...your hubby forces you to go camping, you don't always appreciate modern plumbing, much less modern TP and the spindles upon which they spin

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joanie T said: And I will make chocolate chip cookies for ANY of ya'll with snow shovels/blowers or teenagers with same!

Will ten year olds do? And very tall husbands who sometimes act 10 years old?

Grins.

(I adore Joan's choco chip cookies. I'd drive through a blizzard for them, and shovel when I got there.)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Jo! I hope the fact that I didn't get it beforehand means you were writing and not, like me, procrastinating with pictures of trees. Snork. I'm dying to read the new project you're working on...hint, hint...

You said: I didn't have a chance to tell you beforehand that my favorite leaf is the gorgeous deep purple-ish color of our plum tree right outside my dining area window.

Oooh I love plums. Both the trees and the fruit they produce. Grins. I have a red plum tree that I planted a few years ago. Bought it on impulse in a summer heat tag sale, nearly deceased. Nursed it along till fall and planted it, never thinking it would make it. Grins. Silly me. It's grown to about 15 feet from this dinky little sapling. All in about 3 years. I think the faeries are helping me with it. :>

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Joan:Check...adding Jo's name to the St. Bernard's list....

Have you taken up breeding these beasts? And how do the kitties feel about it?

Uhm, do the St. Bernard's rake leaves, too?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Cassondra said: I have said, many times, that the thing I'd miss most if the zombipocalypse were ever to actually happen, would be toilet paper.

Oh, my. Just the thought of a zombipocalypse...

Then again, there probably would be an ample supply of TP since zombies wouldn't be worrying about their freshness in that region. Snork.

Running water might be a problem though...

Never mind. I going to relegate that fear to the same nether region as the zombipocalypse. Buh-bye now!

Now I DO love your idea of a "smart-spindle" as I have been known to change the paper to the proper direction for usage in too many bathrooms to count, my evil-twin.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz said: Have you taken up breeding these beasts? And how do the kitties feel about it?

Uhm, do the St. Bernard's rake leaves, too?


That's something I've not yet seen a St. B do, but they do drool. Copiously. And in Texas, even in the winter? There'd be ice on the driveway after they came to the door to bring the shovels. That's how much they drool.

Grins.

catslady said...

I love all the colors but of course hate the raking/blowing. Many years it snows before we get them all which makes for a horrible yard int he spring. We have a small blower but it usually snows too much to use it lol.

Sheree said...

Jeanne, the oak leaves don't really change color, just to a light brown. The acorns though can really hurt when they fall, especially from the taller trees. Plus, the crows gather around and wait for passing cars to crack the acorns open for them.

On the downside, the California Bay trees, not only do the leaves fall all summer, somehow kill the oaks slowly. And the pesky squirrels like to plant bay nuts in my planters, tossing out whatever plant was there. Oops, didn't mean to have another anti-squirrel tirade.

Nancy said...

Cassondra wrote: You know..so you don't have to reach under the roll to get the paper. The loose sheet is right there on the outside--and on top...The way God meant it to be.

I feel your pain, bandita. Except God meant the loose sheet to be on the back of the roll so it's easier to get only as much as one wants. :-)

(ducking)

Nancy said...

Jeanne wrote to Cassondra: I have been known to change the paper to the proper direction for usage in too many bathrooms to count, my evil-twin.

You ARE evil twins. If you're ever here, leave my appropriately arranged TP in peace! Both of you!

Nancy said...

Sheree, that's interesting about the crows wanting cars to crack the nuts. I imagine that's a bit risky for the crows.

I don't blame you for wanting squirrels to not reorganize your planters. If I could have planters, which I don't because I kill plants, I would feel the same way.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Catslady! Many years it snows before we get them all which makes for a horrible yard int he spring

So true! This would be why I even tolerate leaf blowers. If I don't get to it quick enough, it becomes too much of a raking chore, so the blower comes out!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Sheree, that's a shame that the Bays do damange to the oaks. *pout* I love the oaks.

You said: Oops, didn't mean to have another anti-squirrel tirade.


Oh, go right ahead. Where I'm from in NC, people hunt squirrel and make squirrel pie. Wish they'd do more of that around here because they run in massive packs around here.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: I feel your pain, bandita. Except God meant the loose sheet to be on the back of the roll so it's easier to get only as much as one wants. :-)

(ducking)


You'd best duck, my friend. How could you believe this is right?

You also said: You ARE evil twins. If you're ever here, leave my appropriately arranged TP in peace! Both of you!

Hmmm. I may have to restrain myself. A mighty task, verily. However, I'll do my best.

jo robertson said...

Yep, Jeanne, deep in revisions on the young adult book, but I had to pop out and read the "lovely leaves" post!

Nancy said...

Jeanne, when the loose sheet is at the back, the bulk of the roll helps the perforation tear where you want it, as opposed to six or eight sheets down the roll.

So there.

Caren Crane said...

It's true. I do not own a snow shovel! Of course, I've only needed one twice in the past 20 years, so maybe that's okay. Hey, can you use a leaf blower on the snow? ;-)

Caren Crane said...

Jeanne, I remember raking, growing up in TN. We had tons of deciduous trees there. Now that I live in the land of the long-leaf pine, though, all we have to rake is PINE STRAW. Now, I've raked plenty of that, but it's not the same. Not at all.

Caren Crane said...

Daz, the jacaranda is gorgeous! We have nothing like that in North Carolina...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: Yep, Jeanne, deep in revisions on the young adult book, but I had to pop out and read the "lovely leaves" post!

Awww, thanks Jo! And trust me, I was really serious when I said I wanted to read the YA... Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: the bulk of the roll helps the perforation tear where you want it, as opposed to six or eight sheets down the roll.

So there.


Uhhhhh, you've made a study of this? I realize there is very little ELSE to do in there whilst...ahem...occupied. You need more books to read. Yeah, that's it! Hahahah! Think I'll send you some. *wink*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Caren said: Hey, can you use a leaf blower on the snow? ;-)

Evidently, people have tried it, with little success. It apparently blows warm air, melting things enough that the blow factor doesn't help.

There were also pictures on the 'net of people blowing their faces with the things (I can hear my mother now, "you could lose an EYE doing that!") Pretty freaky.

Nancy said...

Jeanne said: Uhhhhh, you've made a study of this?

{{shrugs}} It's just obvious, that's all.

If a bit far afield from your topic. Getting back to that, the dh did his mowing and mulching thing over the weekend, so he's done with it until the rest of the leaves fall, probably.

Nancy said...

Jeanne, I prefer the other "mother" thing: "Your face is going to FREEZE like that!" *g*

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy said: Jeanne, I prefer the other "mother" thing: "Your face is going to FREEZE like that!" *g*

Hahah. Yes. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that....yeah. I'd be rich. Snork.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey everyone! Thanks for playing with me today! I'm off to bed to dream of colorful leaves and snow blowers.

Snork.

G'nite!

Daz said...

Helen, I think one of our cushions from a chair flew off the balcony. With the racket the wind was making, I actually thought that the chairs were going to fly off as well. I hope no one got bonked in the head by that random flying cushion.

Jeanne, the weather's been uncertain and rather unpleasant the last couple of weeks. A lot of rain and very strong winds. Last night was particularly nasty and living on the 17th floor, it sounded particularly nasty. Where's the sunshine? That's what I'd like to know. The weather forecast says thunderstorms for the rest of the week which is mighty unkind as we have a full day of tennis planned on Thursday.

Anna, yes, definitely. The purple is just SOOOO pretty!!

elainec said...

I live in Florida now, but miss Michigan - especially in the fall. In my yard there I grew a Red Sunset maple with spectacular red fall color. I also loved the pink-red of my June berry shrubs and flowering dogwoods. Oh, and my Japanese cut leaf maple also turned pink-red.
We just went up north to Massachusetts and New Hampshire because I hadn't seen any fall color changes in five years. It was great!
Fall up north was definitely my favorite season. As we got older, we quit raking and hired the man who did lawn work for the subdivision. In less than two hours, his crew blew the leaves from all the beds onto the grass and then ran the tractor/lawn mower with a vacuum setup to suck up the leaves and grind them up. In the back, they blew the leaves into the woods behind our house. It was amazing. When we did it, it took weeks to rake the leaves and our backs and arms and shoulders ached for a month afterward. They only charged $85-$115(the leaves were very wet that year) and the yard was perfect.
I'm jealous of all who wrote that they lived where there was fall color. You don't know how lucky you are...